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Nearly 70% dietary supplements sold in Indian market are fake: Assocham

New Delhi: About 60 to 70% of dietary supplements being sold across India are fake, counterfeit, unregistered and unapproved, besides it is extremely difficult to identify them, noted a recent Assocham-RNCOS joint study.

Dietary supplements market in India is currently estimated at about $2 billion (nearly Rs 13,382 crore) and is likely to almost double to $4 billion (nearly Rs 26,764 crore) by 2020, thereby, clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 16% during the course of next five years, projected the study titled ‘Indian nutraceuticals, herbals and functional foods industry: Emerging on global map’, conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) jointly with business consulting firm RNCOS.

The study, however, highlighted that vitamin and mineral supplements will form major areas of opportunities for nutraceuticals players in the coming years driven by rising demand from an evolving customer base, with the middle-class population being the major consumers in this regard.

As per current market segmentation, vitamins and minerals account for a lion’s share of about 40% in the Indian dietary supplements market, followed by herbal supplements (30%), probiotic (10%), omega-3 fatty acids (5%), and proteins, amino acids and other essential elements together account for the remaining share of 15%.

Dietary supplements (mainly vitamins and minerals) are primarily produced by pharmaceutical companies and are predominantly prescription-based, recommended by physicians, nutritionists, gym instructors and others who act as major influencers.

Higher purchasing power has made people more health conscious and prompted them to adopt a healthy diet routine completed with consumption of nutritional supplements.

Dietary supplements are sold in many forms like tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, liquids and powders. These products are readily available to consumers through chemist shops and online channels.

According to a survey conducted by the Assocham Social Development Foundation, across top Indian cities in 2012, about 78% adolescents in urban India consumed dietary supplements daily, in one or the other forms, with a view to enhance their physical appearance, improve immunity and increase their energy levels, undermining the various side-effects of such supplements.